Imagine you are an athlete taking part in an important game in your competitive season. How do you feel? What is going through your mind? Is your heart racing because there is uncertainty about what lies ahead, or do you feel calm, poised and present? Are you confident or fearful? Are you present or are you paranoid? Clearly, there are people who want to bring you down – literally – in this very hands-on, physical metaphor for human life. They are staring at you from across the field, quite possibly taunting you with insulting language. How do you respond? What message do you send back without saying a word? And what energy are you drawing from the message you are sending? Are you gaining power and strength or are you giving it away? Is your response flowing from Spirit or clouded and confused by dualistic ego thinking?
Do you even understand the universal law at play here? Do you recognize that you reap what you sow?
Now imagine you are about to give a big speech to a group of complete strangers in a foreign country or you are an entrepreneur pitching a new business idea to a bank. Does this feel any different? Are you nervous and anxious about the situation or do you feel relaxed and at peace? What are you calling into your life experience through your thoughts, feelings and energetic vibration? Are you calling for more anxiety and stress or are you calling for inspiration, power and grace?
There are many variables at play when we wake up in the morning and face our day to day challenges, whatever they might be. Any number of things can go wrong. Life as we know it is uncertain, despite our attempts at stability and predictability. Control is an illusion. Just when we think we have it figured out, we are tested again and again until one day we surrender and empty ourselves to a higher power. Sometimes, we get hurt. Sometimes we truly suffer. Yet beyond this suffering we find resurrection, atonement and truth. From the ashes rises the phoenix. Uncertainty simply gives us a chance to practice faith and learn about ourselves at a deeper level.
Where do you tend to place your attention, on the sacred and eternal now or on the possibility of failure? What does life really mean to you? Is it all about detailed plans and risk free itineraries or is it about exploring new ideas, relationships and adventures. Stop and ask yourself, who am I without my title, my attachments and my physical belongings?
I have been blessed and challenged with each of the scenarios listed above – as an athlete, as a speaker and as an entrepreneur. I have also been confronted with some very painful losses in my personal life. In fact, I face uncertainty every day in one way or another. So do you. The same is true for an astronaut, a bus driver, a school teacher, a surgeon, a job applicant, a parent or a CEO. We are all blessed with the opportunity to practice presence, to grow in spirit, to cast off fear and to reconnect with our deeper Self. It may take longer for some than others, but we cannot hide from the truth and ultimately it is the truth that sets us free. We do not control situations. We only control how we respond to these situations – moment by moment. This is what makes life fascinating and interesting. If the outcomes were predictable there would be no creativity, no adventure and no opportunity for growth. We are meant to explore. We are here to learn. Our souls seek creative expression and freedom – not captivity.
Presence is simply living in harmony and balance with our life giving force, our Source Energy. It is more than fifteen minutes of meditation in the morning. It is a state of equanimity and grace throughout the day – despite the circumstances. It is an alignment with life force, a channeling of Spirit. Presence means being mindful, aware and trusting in Source Energy. It means letting go and letting flow. To perform at peak levels we must remain present in whatever capacity we serve. Uncertainty simply gives us a chance to practice. It is the yin of yang, the perfect balance, the ideal learning environment. It is a gift to be appreciated, often a blessing in disguise. We learn by being tested and we awaken by being present. Use uncertainty to practice presence. Your deeper Self loves it!
John Murphy is an award-winning American author, speaker, business consultant and “Zentrepreneur.” Drawing on a diverse collection of experiences as a corporate director, collegiate football player, spiritual mystic and management coach, John has written 16 books and advised countless corporate clients on building businesses with presence. John spent his 50 th birthday in the presence of the Dalai Lama. For more information about John’s work, visit his sites.